Ad watchdog TINA.org has followed through on a recent warning to the Kardashian/Jenner family and the companies they promote on Instagram by filing a deceptive marketing complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
TINA.org recently concluded an investigation into the Instagram accounts of Kim Kardashian-West, Khloé Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Kendall Jenner and readily found over 100 posts that violate FTC regulations because they fail to communicate the material connections between the women and the companies.
These regulations specify that if someone is paid to promote a product or has a material connection with a company, they must disclose that relationship since it could affect a consumer’s opinion about the product. For space-cramped platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, FTC guidelines state that starting a post with “AD:” or “#ad” would likely be effective. The Kardashian/Jenners’ posts in TINA.org’s sampling contained no such disclosure.
Last week, TINA.org sent a warning letter to the Kardashian/Jenner family as well as to more than two dozen companies whose products they promote on Instagram alerting them to the deceptive marketing campaigns. The nonprofit group put the recipients on notice that it would escalate the violations to the FTC if applicable posts – past, present, and future – do not contain clear and conspicuous disclosure as required by law.
While some posts have been modified since receiving the letter with the inclusion of #ad, the majority remained unchanged as of yesterday morning, before the complaint was filed. TINA.org has also found additional examples lacking disclosures beyond the original sampling all of which have been added to TINA.org’s database.
“TINA.org is happy to see they are taking steps in the right direction but this issue does not go away until all ads disguised as ordinary social media posts are clearly labeled as ads,” TINA.org Executive Director Bonnie Patten said. “The Kardashian/Jenner family and the companies that have a commercial relationship with them have ignored this law for far too long, and it’s time that they were held accountable.”